Kamala Harris to speak with Guatemalan president on Monday


U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris listens as President Joe Biden speaks about the status of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccinations and the administration's ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

(Reuters) -Vice President Kamala Harris will meet virtually on Monday with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei to discuss solutions to the increase in migration to the U.S. border with Mexico, a White House official said on Wednesday.

Harris will visit the region in June, the official added.

The vice president said last week that she intended to visit Mexico and Guatemala soon as part of her plan to use diplomatic efforts to slow the migration.

Reuters reported this week that the visit could happen in as soon as a month.

"They will discuss working together to address immediate relief needs of the Guatemalan people as well as deepening cooperation on migration," the White House official said of the discussion with Giammattei.

President Joe Biden, who has moved away from predecessor Donald Trump's hardline immigration approach, gave Harris the job of leading U.S. efforts with Mexico and Central America's Northern Triangle countries - Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala - to stop migrants from crossing into the United States.

On Tuesday, Harris will participate in a virtual roundtable with representatives from Guatemalan-community based organizations, the official said.

Harris last spoke with Giammattei on March 30.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Peter Cooney)

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